Lee N. Robins (b. 1922)

Lee N. Robins
Lee N. Robins, ca. 1991

Lee Nelkens Robins came to national attention for her studies on psychiatric epidemiology and her work in the development of diagnostic criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. Her research has to led to the publication of more than 250 papers on suicide, substance abuse among adolescents and Vietnam War veterans, alcoholism, and antisocial disorders and behaviors in children. Robins is the author of Deviant Children Grow Up (1966) and the editor of 11 books. She has served on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and is a member of the World Health Organization's expert advisory panel on mental health.

Lee Robins was born in New Orleans in 1922. She received a B.A. in 1942 and a M.A. in 1943, both from Radcliffe College. After serving as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Robins went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1951.

Lee Robins joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in 1954 as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry. In 1959 she was promoted to assistant professor of Sociology, in 1962 to associate professor of Sociology, and in 1968 to professor of Sociology in Psychiatry. In December 1991 Robins was named a University Professor, a position which acknowledges distinguished scholars whose work overlaps various disciplines and schools. Robins founded and was the former director of the Washington University Master in Psychiatric Epidemiology Program. In October 1999 Robins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Robins became professor emeritus of Sociology in Psychiatry in 2001.